About godsdog

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and business model hacker. He operates this site, which is a collection of the blogs he's published over the years, as well as an archive of his professional publishing record. As always, this is a work in progress. Such is life.

Uber to stop leasing cars: Report

Oops.

A report today in the The Wall Street Journal also said that Uber executives realized that the average loss per vehicle was about 18 times what they had thought, an unsustainable level for a start-up that is losing money despite high revenues. The leasing division saw losses of about $9,000 per car, more than the estimated losses of around $500 per vehicle, the Journal said

Source: Uber to stop leasing cars: Report

Nuber: The End of Uber and Central Authority | DigitalNext – AdAge

This should surprise no one. Many Uber drivers feel (rightly or wrongly) that they are underpaid, overworked, and generally treated unfairly. The drivers have tried to unionize, they ad hoc collectively bargain, and they have vigorously campaigned on social media to protest their work conditions.

Source: Nuber: The End of Uber and Central Authority | DigitalNext – AdAge

SoftBank chief says he wants stake in Uber or Lyft – MarketWatch

This is vintage Son. I remember hearing a speech he gave to the SoftBank portfolio companies in 1997. To paraphrase, the first round of investments in the 90s was practice for his 60’s, which begin this week: “When I’m going to do something big.”

“We are interested in discussing with Uber. We are also interested in discussing with Lyft,” the SoftBank chief said at a news conference, adding that he wasn’t sure what form an investment would take. “The U.S. is a very big market, the most important market, so we are definitely very much interested.”

Source: SoftBank chief says he wants stake in Uber or Lyft – MarketWatch

Travis Kalanick reportedly sought to reassert control at Uber after ouster | TechCrunch

I’ll just reiterate my previous comments on Kalanick’s desire to return to the helm of Uber: The company does not need to return to its roots, it needs a leader who can see beyond their own illusions and understand the multi-party market in all its dimensions. Bro culture and “hustle” have brought Uber to its current crisis, they won’t get it through that crisis.

Just under two months after resigning from Uber, former CEO Travis Kalanick has reportedly asked some former colleagues if they would support him in a potential shareholder battle, according to a new report by The Information.

Source: Travis Kalanick reportedly sought to reassert control at Uber after ouster | TechCrunch

Lyft Taps Obama Advisor Valerie Jarrett For Board Seat | Afro

“I am a frequent Lyft passenger and have been inspired by the strong community [co-founders] John [Zimmer] and Logan [Green] have created that is dedicated to enlightened corporate values,” Jarrett said in a statement. “We share a belief that reliable, affordable transportation positively impacts social mobility, and improves the quality of life in densely populated communities. I am thrilled to join the ride.”

Source: Lyft Taps Obama Advisor Valerie Jarrett For Board Seat | Afro

Lyft secures partnership with Amtrak for ‘door-to-door’ service | PhillyVoice

“To help close the gap between public transit and your doorstep, we’re teaming up with Amtrak,” Lyft published in a recent blog post.“ Rides to transit stations are among Lyft’s most popular routes, making up 25% of rides in Chicago alone.” With this in mind, Lyft is offering a $5 promo code for users who request a ride to an Amtrak station.

Source: Lyft secures partnership with Amtrak for ‘door-to-door’ service | PhillyVoice

The New Normal? Balancing the Needs of Schools and the Gig Economy – K-12 Talent Manager – Education Week

This was the first time I had heard about a district considering a “gig economy” teacher. The assistant superintendent explained that the district had a serious discussion about the opportunity, with mixed feelings from leaders in central office. Some people felt strongly about only hiring dedicated, full-time teachers. Others were even angry, scared, and confused. But overwhelmingly, the leadership was open to the idea, especially since the district’s high school algebra teacher at that time was a long-term sub.

Source: The New Normal? Balancing the Needs of Schools and the Gig Economy – K-12 Talent Manager – Education Week

Lyft opens new driver hub in Portland

An essential step taken by Lyft.

The hubs offer drivers a physical space where they can ask questions, get support and information from company representatives and find community among other drivers, said Lyft’s vice president of operations, Woody Hartman.

Source: Lyft opens new driver hub in Portland

Kalanick looks to keep front-seat role at Uber — FT.com

This isn’t “pulling a Steve Jobs,” as Kalanick calls it. Jobs spent ample time in the wilderness before returning to Apple, and can back smarter. Since Kalanick is seeking a return to the “hustling” ways that brought Uber to its crisis, his activism is a form of cancer, founderblastoma. Undifferentiated aspirations turning into political blockers to progress.

Travis Kalanick, Uber’s former chief executive, is looking to stay closely involved in strategic and operational decision-making, according to people familiar with the car-booking company’s search for a new CEO who can turn its crisis-battered image around and restore employee morale.

Source: Kalanick looks to keep front-seat role at Uber

Uber’s next chief executive faces uncomfortable ride — FT.com

Correct: Uber is not an established monopoly, but still contending every transaction. They are not competing just with Lyft, but the entire auto industry, transportation systems and shippers, and the convenience of delivery versus driving/riding across town.

All of this presupposes that Uber, though still growing fast, has reached a turning point. But what if nothing of the sort is going on? For a start, market positions in ride hailing look far from settled. Lyft’s rebound from also-ran is a sign that riders and drivers like choice. Barriers to entry may not be as high as often thought. In a city like San Francisco, many riders — and drivers — use both Uber and Lyft apps. And ride hailing is a decidedly local business, making it a constant city-by-city war of attrition.

Source: Uber’s next chief executive faces uncomfortable ride